# From S. E. (Elizabeth) Wedgwood to Hensleigh Wedgwood   [16] November [1836]1

Maer

Wednesday Nov

My dear Hensleigh

Charles’s visit has been exceedingly pleasant. Caroline went in the phaeton to meet him on Saturday, and as he did not come by the mail she waited till several more coaches came in & then came back—and we quite gave him, when in a quarter of an hour after her, he appeared. He looks very much thinner, but it has improved his looks, and his countenance is so pleasant that his plainness does not signify— his manners are uncommonly pleasant it is impossible not to be quite fond of him— it is very pleasant to see him so ready to enjoy himself. We had to distribute proper shares of his company to everybody. Eliza came here on Saturday to stay over Sunday & Harry came both those days & went home in the evening—& on Monday again he appeared directly after breakfast but diverged from Madeley (where they all walked to see my father’s Yew-tree, that he has never been able to make anybody curious about before, but now Charles is going actually to do it the honour to describe it to Mr Henslow) & we saw him no more. Frank & Fanny came on Sunday, & we had Aunt Sarah—

We were particularly anxious that Aunt Sarah’s day should go off well, and by great good luck he got upon just the subjects that would suit her—& was remarkably pleasant all the evening—(we had begun to be low at dinner for he was shy, & we could not get on) and the next morning after breakfast we fell again into such a pleasant fit of talk that she actually ran to the door when the phaeton was there, and ordered it away again for an hour! Charles gave us Capt Fitzroy’s letter to read, which Sarah was very much pleased with—indeed we are all duly impressed with a proper profundity of admiration for the Captain— Harry enjoyed his cross questioning of Charles thoroughly— We got several little geological lectures— Harry was rather anxious to know whether we are going up or going down— I learn that the learned world are coming fast round to Mr Lyell, only that earth-quakes were bigger in those days— It is very lucky that Charles’s bones are turning out so valuable—it was so great a chance, for of course before he went he could not have had much opportunity of knowing what was already known. I perceive that he rather skips over his residence at Cambridge and looks forward to settling in London with the most pleasure— It will be very pleasing for his sisters if he does— There is a certain German pamphlet on the corals of the red sea,2 that he amused us with his account of Eras translating for him, & how pale he looked after his labours— I offered to finish translating it for him but he refused. I dont know whether from not caring about it or not to give me the trouble— If Eras thinks he would really like to have it & that I could do it (though I dont know how he is to know that—but I have read a great deal of Kozebue)3 ask him to send it me—it is a job I should like. Charles feels he must learn German, but I dont see how he can get time— we gave him a vocab—and looked for Robinson der Junger—4 but we could not find it— has Fanny taken it for Snow?

Clem Broughton10 has offered Charles the curacy of Norbury—but I have no doubt Frank has employed some of his leis〈ure〉 which is likely to last for the next 3 months in writing to you & will have told you all about it. Robert is delighted with it, and Eliza has taken hold of the occasion to write to Mrs R. a friendly letter which is a very kind thing of her. Jessie is going on quite well. We are expecting Uncle Allen & Emma tomorrow for a fortnight & Mrs Holland & Louisa ought to arrive tomorrow too, as they have never written to tell us they have altered the day but I dont expect them. Charlotte has been giving her first dinner party & suffering most severely—but I have no room to give you Charles’s account of her troubles

Dont you think one of our large family of lamps would do for Fanny? & then perhaps she would let you get your books.

We have been keeping an eye on the sky but all in vain— I was up from $\frac{1}{2}$ past 2 to 4 on the night—but nothing was to be seen—not that I got up for that but my mother was not comfortable & was sitting up in bed.

## Footnotes

CD arrived from London on 12 November, left on the 16th (see Correspondence vol. 1, Appendix I).
Ehrenberg 1834, an important source for CD’s Coral reefs. A heavily annotated copy is in ‘Philosophical tracts’, Darwin Library–CUL.
Otto von Kotzebue 1821, 1830.
[J. C. L.] H[aken] 1802, Robinsons des Jüngern, an elementary German reader. Two German dictionaries are in the Darwin Library–Down: Rabenhorst’s pocket dictionary (1829), inscribed ‘Erasmus Darwin’, and volume one of a two-volume set edited by Johann Gottfried Flügel, Leipzig (1838).
The home of the Tollet family.
Tapparelli 1833.
Manzoni 1827.
CD may have told the story of a narrow escape in Tierra del Fuego, when an exploring party from the Beagle was nearly marooned. Robert FitzRoy, in Narrative 2: 217, states ‘had not Mr. Darwin, and two or three of the men, run to them [the boats] instantly, they would have been swept away from us irrecoverably.’
Abolitionist weeklies of that name were published in Boston and New York.
Clement Francis Broughton. It is not clear to whom the offer was made. Possibly Charles Langton is meant, but he was rector of Onibury at the time, and the next sentences suggest that Elizabeth intended to write ‘Robert’. In any case, the offer was not accepted. In the next Clergy list (London 1841) no curate is listed for Norbury.

## Summary

Describes CD’s visit to Maer on his return from Beagle voyage.

## Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-322
From
Wedgwood, S. E. (b)
To
Wedgwood, Hensleigh
Sent from
Maer
Source of text
V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 129)
Physical description
?